First, the good: the author is a superb writer. He is so good that even his descriptions of mundane actions and scenes are fascinating to read. Also, the concept behind the book is unique, and being a lover of old silent movies, I was hypnotized by the first few chapters. Now, the bad: this is the most depressing book I have ever read. The book tells you almost from page one that the narrator's wife and children were killed in a plane accident, the rest of the book occuring after that fact. So you'd think things would get better from that point, but they actually manage to get worse. There's an endless spiral of bleakness and crushed hopes in this book. In the last few paragraphs of the final chapter, the narrator calls the book his "compilation of sorrows." That it is. Do not entertain any hopes once you start this book. All hope is lost here.
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